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Microsoft CEO cracks Microsoft joke in tweet

Technically Incorrect: Microsoft is slowly becoming a very different company. An amusing Satya Nadella tweet underlines this.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Satya Nadella, jokester. ABC News screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Microsoft has rarely been known for its sense of humor.

It did try to allow Bill Gates to be funny with Jerry Seinfeld once upon a time, a campaign I rather liked. (I was alone in this.)

In recent years, however, it's attempts at amusement have included the Scroogled campaign, which amused about as much as someone headbutting you and then offering you a 7-Eleven Slurpee to make up for it.

Since Satya Nadella became CEO, however, there's been a palpable release of air, if you can call the departure of Steve Ballmer a release of air.

Nadella has seemed both more relaxed than his predecessor and more open to not ramming Microsoft's products down people's throats and instead expressing both modesty and charm.

On Tuesday, he had a little exchange with Box CEO Aaron Levie on Twitter. Levie offered a curiously dry tweet announcing something terribly important: "Incredibly excited to announce Box + Office Online, a huge leap towards being able to work fully in the cloud."

To this Nadella (or, of course, one of his handlers) responded: "Great partnering to reinvent productivity in the cloud, @levie Have come a long way since our 1st 'box' integration!"

This might seem equally dry, yet it was accompanied by a picture of an old, old Microsoft Office box.

Purists might note that Nadella was expressing the company's serious commitment to the cloud and all that floats in it.

Equally, there's something very slightly fresh about a Microsoft CEO offering the merest tinge of a chuckle in the middle of a working day. It might not have been the funniest tweet ever emitted. It might well, however, be the funniest tweet ever emitted by a Microsoft CEO. This we call progress.

I can only look forward to Nadella offering more amusement in tweets to come. Who wouldn't adore a Nadella/Tim Cook exchange about the relative virtues of cricket and football?

And a few jokes about Larry Page wouldn't go amiss, would they?

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Amusing? Slightly amusing? screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET